Captain America: Civil War

Film, Action and adventure
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(22user reviews)
Captain America: Civil War

Marvel's latest superhero epic sees Captain America pitched against Iron Man – and the result is an enjoyable feast of action, humour and ideas

Does any of this sound familiar? Two iconic heroes duking it out over two-and-a-half epic hours… Angsty agonising over the collateral damage that ensues… Cameos from multiple costumed crusaders, just to make sure we’re suitably hyped for the next ten movies. But luckily, ‘Captain America: Civil War’ is packed to bursting with the one ingredient its rival superhero smackdown ‘Batman v Superman’ lacked: joy.

Which isn’t to say ‘Civil War’ is threat-free and happy-clappy. This is a film about the violent end of a friendship and the moral questions that come with free will, so it’s hardly a party. No, this is the kind of joy that comes with crafting characters people can relate to, with designing action scenes that spring and spin and bound off the screen, with picking just the right moment for a tension-breaking gag, a pause for reflection or a rousing speech. It's the joy of making a movie for and about people.

We find our heroes at a crossroads. The earth-shattering events of ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’ have left the authorities – and many of the Avengers – questioning their role in world affairs. Enter William Hurt’s politician with an ultimatum: submit to UN oversight, or cease all crimefighting activities. Ridden with guilt, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) agrees. But Steve Rogers (Chris Evans) isn’t sold, especially as the first order of business is to eliminate his childhood friend-turned-crazed assassin, Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan).

None of this is especially original – the ‘Watchmen’ comics covered similar ground three decades ago. But it’s rich pickings for character conflict, and that’s what ‘Civil War’ cares most about: not just between Cap and Iron Man, but between dimension-benders Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Vision (Paul Bettany), between old friends Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner), and between newcomer Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) and basically everyone. But fear not, there’s also some light relief in the form of Ant-Man (Paul Rudd) and a nerdy teenage Spider-Man (Tom Holland).

Directors Joe and Anthony Russo juggle all these elements impressively: for every awkward franchise requirement (like Martin Freeman’s here-and-gone-again military man), there’s another that slots effortlessly into place – Holland’s introduction as Peter Parker is one of the sweetest scenes in the series. A nagging sense of incompleteness means that ‘Civil War’ isn’t quite as satisfying as the first ‘Avengers’ (it’s all building up to the ‘Infinity War’ two-parter in 2018). But overall, this is Marvel at their best: a pacey, intelligent super-sized blockbuster and a roaringly fun night out.

Release details

Rated:
12A
Release date:
Friday April 29 2016
Duration:
147 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Screenwriter:
Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Cast:
Elizabeth Olsen
Scarlett Johansson
Chris Evans
Robert Downey Jr

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:4
  • 4 star:14
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|22
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tastemaker

Absolute winner! With no chicken dinner ..sadly. But who cares when you're watching a movie this well directed!

Action packed from beginning to end! With some of your fav characters from the marvel gang. This movie leaves room for more and you just know its going to get better.

Tastemaker

My husband is the marvel fan in the family so I tagged along for company. I did enjoy the movie as there is enough action and it is at a fast enough pace to keep you interested but I have to be honest if I hadn't seen most of the other movies I would have been very confused as to who was who and their history/beef/sexy times with each other. 


Arguably the best Marvel movie to date, with amazing fight scenes using great characters from the marvel universe. Robert Downey Jr at his best again despite being old enough to be a granddad. The new spiderman is spot on with the original comics however making "Aunty May" really attractive was bit awkward...anyhow definitely worth a watch!!

moderator

Enjoyed it as much as the first Avengers. Seeing a teenage Spider-Man fighting alongside Ironman is a treat. I loved the drama amongst friends, choosing sides, the crazy politics of it all. As a fan you are put in the uncomfortable moral position of choosing sides. But you can't. You are rooting for all. Action is top-notch. Fighting scenes plentiful and satisfying We want to see our Avengers fighting evil, not each other. Now I am waiting for the next chapter. I'm hooked!

Staff Writer

One of the best Marvel films to date. Brought a range of characters together in a way that won't alienate the die hard fans. Great touches of comedy in with all the action. Most believable and authentic Spider-man yet, can't wait for that spin-off.

Staff Writer

I'm a massive Marvel fan so the descent of more super heroes was a delight. The plot was a bit wishy washy - do we really need two whole films about Bucky? - but overall it was fun, energetic and it looked pretty incredible.


I am the wife of a Marvel fan and was 'taken' (dragged) to this on the promise the next film will be my choice, no questions asked! But I was pleasantly surprised and engaged for the whole movie, which was a not insignificant 2 hours and 27 minutes. It did help that a lot of the cast were easy on the eye, but in all fairness the acting was quite good too. I understand from the husband that the storyline is very different to the comic book, but he seemed to really enjoy it to. Definitely worth a watch and so much more enjoyable than the Expendables.....

Tastemaker

Right so, I know this isn’t a reason to go see a film and putting aside my love for all things comic book related, the cast of this film are so good looking! From Scarlett Johannson to Sebastian Stan & Chris Evans, holy mama! Even if you don’t like comic books, you’re more than likely to enjoy this on some level. But being a comic book reader (and occasional lech by the sounds of it) this was a thoroughly good film, for the more casual reader/follower of Marvel the end fight scene and twist is one that will make you say “Whaaaa?!” out loud. A touch too long but definitely worth a watch!

Tastemaker

Great film for those who love Marvel, if you don't then there is a high chance many of the jokes and plot twists may be lost on you.  The addition of Antman and the new Spiderman offered the opportunity for humour in an otherwise comedy free film (even Robert Downey Jr wasnt his usual hilarious self - perhaps a sign that they are having IronMan grow up a little finally!).  Big action fighting scenes, lots going on and a great way to lose yourself for 2 and a bit hours in the fantasy of it all.  Would watch again if it was on tv/Netflix in the future! 

Tastemaker

Oh Lord. When a couple of friends asked me to go to see this film for their birthday, I thought: 'I'm probably going to hate this but it might be better than I think, who knows.' Me. That's who. It was absolutely appalling and the end would NEVER come. Chris Evans (Captain America) is the most uncharismatic, transparent actor. The action scenes were pointlessly long. Amongst the huge TV star cast though were Scarlett Johanson and Robert Downey Jr who did a pretty good job. On top of it all, the plot was incomprehensible if you were not already a marvel fan...

tastemaker

If you haven't watched Iron Man, Captain America or the Avengers, you will get lost in this film. The effects were epic and Antman brought a new refreshing style to the franchise.


For me, the film is too long, with no real script or warmth to the story. Too much to cover and was more of a bridge to the next Avengers rather than focusing on Captain America. 


Definitely looking forwards to seeing more the Black Panther and the new Spidey in action though!

Tastemaker

BEST MARVEL FILM YET. The Russo brothers shine once again and show that they're not afraid of approaching the darker, grittier political topics with our favourite superheroes. If you're already missing the Avengers from last year, you'll want to catch this one, which includes pretty much all the major cast members anyway, alongside a few new ones (yes Tom Holland as Spiderman, as you all know from the trailer, as well as Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther). Sit on the edge of your seat as you burble with excitement over the epic fight scene where Team Stark clashes with Team Rogers and becomes an orgy of superhero on superhero action, that will keep the inner fanboy squealing to his heart's delight, then feel sad again because WOW THESE HEROES ARE FIGHTING and you obviously don't want them to fight. The big bad in this film isn't a big bad, mostly because no one actually beats him up, but he causes enough trouble to start the civil war in the first place. This is a film that's full of amazing action, amazing quips, and full of sad feels, because argh who likes to see people get mad at each other? Watch it anyway, because it's a long wait till Doctor Strange in November, and to help you recover from the bullshit that was Batman vs Superman. 

Tastemaker

As a massive geek and super heroes fan I was expecting this movie to restore my faith on the gender after the fiasco with Batman v Superman.

Its a good movie and very entertaining - enjoyed specially the new Spiderman, he brought something new to the character and movie.

Tastemaker

Decent film, it was nice to have the other superhero characters having parts in this as well. I wouldn’t say this film was mainly Captain America, so I’m not too sure I’d agree with the name, but overall the film was very enjoyable. There was only one scene where I thought the CGI was terrible, but apart from that it was great.

Tastemaker

I have just worked through my disappointment regarding Batman vs Superman, but I was really keen to make up for the experience (and I can't say no to a movie starring Robert Downey Jr.). I did not have high expectations, but the movie took me completely by surprise.

It's fast paced and has a great storyline - it gives you a deeper insight into the characters motivation and mind-set. But as previously stated the name Captain America isn't really justified, but sometimes it is good to have a different idea before you watch it.

The movie is great fun, whether you like Marvel or not.   

Tastemaker

Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr.  Need I say more?

Great addition to the series! There are quite a few additions to the cast based on the last avengers, so if you are only following Captain America (or if it's been a while since the last one) it's worth giving yourself a refresher.

Definitely some great fight scenes! They are getting better are slowing down some of the really stellar moves in the fight sequences.

It is roughly 2.5hours long.  So there were a few moments where I thought... ok, this is it. And then there's more!

Go and watch it! And don't forget there are 2 extra scenes in the end credits

Tastemaker

I am a huge fan of Marvel films, so keep this in mind when reading my review...I really enjoyed this movie, and LOVED the fact that there were so many other Marvel characters in it. It did kind of feel like maybe it should have been Avengers Assemble 3 rather than a Captain America though. I thought the storyline was good and tied up some loose ends from other movies, but it was quite long and convoluted in some bits, and it relies on you having a good recall of events that occurred in the first two films. Overall, it was definitely enjoyable...whether it's a good movie if you're indifferent to Marvel I can't say, but if you like any of the other Avenger-related films, you'll love this! There is also an awesome appearance from a superhero I did not expect to see, and he was a brilliant addition!

Tastemaker

I enjoyed this movie in the sense the mass destruction you commonly see finally has consequences! The main baddie is a nuanced guy who is understandably angry. The one thing I do not understand is who this random guy was able to find out about some deep secret that even Iron Man did not uncover. Apart from that big gaping plot-hole I enjoyed the movie. There are some funny characters. It is also very long - bit too long in parts. 


I love super hero movies and this one is good but not my favourite (It is no Guardians of the Galaxy)


Enjoyed it as much as the first Avengers. Seeing a teenage Spider-Man fighting alongside Ironman is a treat. I loved the drama amongst friends, choosing sides, the crazy politics of it all. As a fan you are put in the uncomfortable moral position of choosing sides. But you can't. You are rooting for all. Action is top-notch. Fighting scenes plentiful and satisfying We want to see our Avengers fighting evil, not each other. Now I am waiting for the next chapter. I'm hooked!

tastemaker

Always love a Marvel film and this new Captain America one does not disappoint. Action packed and visually impressive but not the best in the franchise. Worth a view on the big screen still though and some great new editions.

Tastemaker

I love the marvel films and when I saw the reviews in the paper, first thing Saturday morning I booked tickets for 10am. I am not such a fan that I know all of the movies and the plot lines and not even all of the superheroes. But I did really enjoy watching this film unfold! It was a witty script, great graphics and the acting was spot on. It was a long movie and there was a lot more story than action. As usual staying until the end credits left us with an extra.